Originally Posted by BuckeyeRedleg
Two games is all it takes to make the Big 10 go from "great" to "weak" by the consensus. Besides Michigan and their two "upsets", the other top teams in the Big Ten (OSU, Illinois, PSU, Purdue, Wisky) went a combined 18-1 out-of-conference with the only loss being Illinois to #6 Missouri by 6 points (40-34). But, yet, none of these teams (other than OSU) is a consensus top 25 team, simply due to the perception that the Big Ten is weak because of the two upsets of Michigan and OSU's collapse against Florida last year. Meanwhile, five teams from the SEC with three losses are consensus top 25.
Here's the difference between the SEC and the Big 10... the "non-elite" teams are capable of beating the better teams.
Vandy can (and did) go on the road and beat South Carolina. Kentucky can (and did) beat LSU. Mississippi State can (and did) go on the road and beat Kentucky. Auburn can (and did) go on the road and beat Florida. Ole Miss could have beaten both Florida and Bama.
In the Big 10, it doesn't appear that any of the "lesser" programs is capable of competing with, much less beating either of the "Big 2." (Though Mich St. did give Mich a nice game this past weekend.)
Let's try this another way, by looking at the lesser teams trying to get bowl eligible. Vanderbilt is currently 5-4 (2-4 in conference), needing two wins to guarantee a bowl. Remember, one of those wins was over then #6 South Carolina on the road. Their remaining games: Kentucky, @ Tennessee, Wake Forest. Northwestern, before last weekend was 5-4 (2-3 in conference and with a loss to Duke at home), needing 2 wins to guarantee a bowl. Their remaining games: Iowa, Indiana, @ Illinois.
Something else, the Big 10 isn't done with their cupcake OOC games either. Penn State still has Temple, Iowa still has Western Mich. There's one other tough OOC conference game from the SEC that you missed, too. MSU@WVU.